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Peninsula School District loans school bus to Puyallup following fire

Peninsula School District Director of Transportation Annie Bell, left, passes keys to a loaner school bus to a Puyallup School District representative on Aug. 31.
Peninsula School District Director of Transportation Annie Bell, left, passes keys to a loaner school bus to a Puyallup School District representative on Aug. 31. Courtesy

In a show of solidarity and support, the Peninsula School District has loaned a school bus to the Puyallup School District following a fire that destroyed 26 buses in the district’s fleet.

A call from the regional director for school district transportation asked for spare buses available for loan from neighboring districts following the fire, said Karen Anderson, the Peninsula School District’s chief financial officer.

“We had an extra bus in our spare group and so we offered up one of our large buses,” she said. “We’re trying to help out a neighboring district who lost 26 buses in a fire last week.”

We had an extra bus in our spare group and so we offered up one of our large buses. We’re trying to help out a neighboring district who lost 26 buses in a fire last week.

Karen Anderson, Chief Financial Officer for Peninsula S.D.

The fire began at the Puyallup School District’s maintenance garage at about 2:20 p.m. Aug. 24, with several explosions and smoke visible for miles.

Several other school districts in addition to Peninsula have offered loaner buses to Puyallup before school began Tuesday (Sept. 6). While the buses lost to the fire where covered by insurance, the process to replace the buses will be lengthy, Anderson said.

“Losing 26 buses out of their fleet is a significant hit,” she said.

The agreement between Peninsula and Puyallup is for the current 2016-2017 school year, with the loan of the bus donated.

Representatives from Puyallup picked up the bus from Peninsula transportation employees on Aug. 31, with enough time to get the bus ready prior to the start of school.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Anderson said. “I think they would do the same thing if something happened to our fleet. It was our way to support them.”

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

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